June 9 2014
George Will on the Administration's Suspect Campus Sexual Assault Statistic
Columnist George Will is the latest to weigh in on the Obama administration’s highly suspect claim that one-in-five women is the victim of sexual assault on campus:
The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous.
Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009 to 2012 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent — too high but nowhere near 20 percent.
Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process. Threatening to withdraw federal funding, the department mandates adoption of a minimal “preponderance of the evidence” standard when adjudicating sexual assault charges between males and the female “survivors” — note the language of prejudgment. Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.
Will quotes a particularly nightmarish bedtime story from Philadelphia magazine:
“They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. ‘I basically said, “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.”
And then he said, “OK, that’s fine” and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.’”
But six weeks later the young woman reported that she had been raped.
We at IWF take any accusation of sexual misconduct seriously.
But we are also concerned with a kind of hysteria that seems to be developing and that we fear could have dire consequences for young people.
The administration's suspect statistics aren't helping.
Please join us June 26 for a panel on the campus “rape culture” that will feature the Factual Feminist Christina Hoff Sommers, Stuart Taylor of the Brookings Institution, columnist Cathy Young, and former Bush administration official Andrea Bottner, who handled international women’s issues. Here are the details.